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Do not trust websites stating that your personal data might be exposed

Also Known As: IP address & personal information might be exposed pop-up
Damage level: Medium

What is the "IP address & personal information might be exposed" scam?

"IP address & personal information might be exposed" is a scam promoted on various untrustworthy websites. This scheme aims to promote a piece of (likely dubious) software by claiming that users' IP (Internet Protocol) addresses and personal data may be exposed and vulnerable.

In seldom cases, such scams endorse legitimate products and generate revenue through deceptive and questionable tactics. However, they more commonly distribute adware, browser hijackers, fake anti-viruses, and other PUAs (Potentially Unwanted Applications). It is noteworthy that online schemes may even proliferate malware.

Scam-promoting sites are usually accessed inadvertently; most users enter them via mistyped URLs, or redirects caused by rogue webpages, intrusive advertisements, or installed PUAs. This software can infiltrate systems without explicit user permission, and it often has harmful abilities.

IP address & personal information might be exposed scam

"IP address & personal information might be exposed" scam in detail

As its name suggests, the "IP address & personal information might be exposed" scam states that the user's geolocation (IP address) and other private and sensitive data may be unprotected. It then lists the following information about the user: geolocation, IP address, ISP (Internet Service Provider), browser, and "status".

The scheme emphasizes that anyone can access this information and check the user's browsing activity. The scam urges to download the "number one" VPN (Virtual Private Network) application to browse safely and anonymously. The scheme also guarantees that there is a thirty-day refund window for the recommended software.

As mentioned in the introduction, schemes of this type are typically used to spread untrustworthy and malicious software. Therefore, by trusting the "IP address & personal information might be exposed" scam, users can experience system infections, severe privacy issues, financial losses, and even identity theft.

How do potentially unwanted applications operate?

PUAs tend to appear legitimate and harmless. These applications promise "useful" features, which are seldom operational. Fake anti-virus tools are a prime example of this. Apps of this type require activation (i.e., purchase) to perform the advertised functions, yet following activation - they remain nonoperational.

Other PUAs can force-open rogue, scam, and malicious sites (e.g., ones running the "IP address & personal information might be exposed" scam). Adware-types deliver intrusive advertisement campaigns. Once clicked on, the delivered ads redirect to unreliable/dangerous websites, and some can stealthily download/install software.

Browser hijackers are another type of PUAs. They operate by making modifications to browser settings to promote (by causing redirects to) fake search engines. The promoted web searchers typically cannot provide search results, so they redirect to Google, Yahoo, Bing, and other genuine search engines.

What is more, most PUAs have data tracking abilities. Information of interest includes: URLs visited, webpages viewed, search queries typed, IP addresses/ geolocations, personally identifiable details, and so forth. The gathered data is then shared with and/or sold to third-parties (potentially, cyber criminals).

The presence of unwanted software on systems - endangers device integrity and user safety. Therefore, it is strongly advised to remove all suspect applications and browser extensions/plug-ins immediately upon detection.

Threat Summary:
Name IP address & personal information might be exposed pop-up
Threat Type Phishing, Scam, Social Engineering, Fraud
Fake Claim Scam claims that users' personal information might be exposed and urges to download/install the promoted VPN
Related Domains user-shield-check[.]com
Symptoms Fake error messages, fake system warnings, pop-up errors, hoax computer scan.
Distribution methods Compromised websites, rogue online pop-up ads, potentially unwanted applications.
Damage Loss of sensitive private information, monetary loss, identity theft, possible malware infections.
Malware Removal (Windows)

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Online scams in general

"Access to this pc has been blocked for security reasons", "CONGRATULATIONS, YOU ARE THE VISITOR NO. 1.000.000", "Win The New iPhone 12", "Your Chrome is severely damaged by 13 Malware!" - are some examples of various online scams. The Internet is rife with misleading, deceptive, and malicious content.

Popular scam models include: alerts about a software product being outdated or missing, warnings that the device is infected or at risk, fake lotteries and prize giveaways, unbelievable offers and deals, etc. Due to how widespread such schemes are on the Web, it is highly recommended to exercise caution when browsing.

How did potentially unwanted applications install on my computer?

PUAs can have "official" promotional/download webpages, which are often pushed by deceptive/scam sites. Intrusive advertisements are used to proliferate these applications as well. Once clicked on, the ads can execute scripts to make downloads/installations without user consent.

PUAs can also be downloaded/installed together with other software. This false marketing method of pre-packing regular programs with unwanted or malicious additions - is called "bundling". Rushed downloads/installations (e.g., skipped steps and sections, etc.) increase the risk of allowing bundled content into the device.

How to avoid installation of potentially unwanted applications?

It is important to research software before download/installation and/or purchase. Additionally, all downloads must be performed from official and verified sources. Dubious channels, e.g., Peer-to-Peer sharing networks, unofficial and freeware websites, and other third-party downloaders - can offer bundled and hazardous content.

When downloading/installing, it is advised to read terms, study available options, use the "Custom/Advanced" settings to opt-out from supplementary apps, tools, and other additions. Intrusive adverts appear ordinary and harmless; however, they redirect to questionable sites (e.g., gambling, adult-dating, pornography, etc.).

In case of encounters with such ads and/or redirects, the device must be inspected and all suspicious applications and browser extensions/plug-ins detected - removed from it without delay. If your computer is already infected with PUAs, we recommend running a scan with Combo Cleaner Antivirus for Windows to automatically eliminate them.

Text presented in the "IP address & personal information might be exposed" scam:

Your connection might not be secure

 

Your IP address & personal information might be exposed!
Get the #1 trusted VPN to browse securely and anonymously
Get a VPN

 

Your location: ********
Your IP: ********
Your ISP: ********
Your Browser: Chrome
Your Status: MIGHT BE UNPROTECTED

 

Without using a VPN, ANYONE can see where you are browsing.
Browse securely and anonymously - It's safe and offers 30 days money-back guarantee!

 

[Later] [Get a VPN]

The appearance of "IP address & personal information might be exposed" pop-up scam (GIF):

Appearance of IP address & personal information might be exposed scam

Instant automatic malware removal: Manual threat removal might be a lengthy and complicated process that requires advanced computer skills. Combo Cleaner is a professional automatic malware removal tool that is recommended to get rid of malware. Download it by clicking the button below:
▼ DOWNLOAD Combo Cleaner By downloading any software listed on this website you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. To use full-featured product, you have to purchase a license for Combo Cleaner. 7 days free trial available.

Quick menu:

Removal of potentially unwanted applications:

Windows 10 users:

Accessing Programs and Features (uninstall) in Windows 8

Right-click in the lower left corner of the screen, in the Quick Access Menu select Control Panel. In the opened window choose Programs and Features.

Windows 7 users:

Accessing Programs and Features (uninstall) in Windows 7

Click Start (Windows Logo at the bottom left corner of your desktop), choose Control Panel. Locate Programs and click Uninstall a program.

macOS (OSX) users:

Uninstall app in OSX (Mac)

Click Finder, in the opened screen select Applications. Drag the app from the Applications folder to the Trash (located in your Dock), then right click the Trash icon and select Empty Trash.

PUAs uninstall via Control Panel

In the uninstall programs window, look for any suspicious/recently-installed applications, select these entries and click "Uninstall" or "Remove".

After uninstalling the potentially unwanted application, scan your computer for any remaining unwanted components or possible malware infections. To scan your computer, use recommended malware removal software.

Remove rogue extensions from Internet browsers:

Video showing how to remove potentially unwanted browser add-ons:

Google Chrome logoRemove malicious extensions from Google Chrome:

Removing rogue extensions from Google Chrome step 1

Click the Chrome menu icon Google Chrome menu icon (at the top right corner of Google Chrome), select "More tools" and click "Extensions". Locate all recently-installed suspicious browser add-ons and remove them.

Removing rogue extensions from Google Chrome step 2

Optional method:

If you continue to have problems with removal of the ip address & personal information might be exposed pop-up, reset your Google Chrome browser settings. Click the Chrome menu icon Google Chrome menu icon (at the top right corner of Google Chrome) and select Settings. Scroll down to the bottom of the screen. Click the Advanced… link.

Google Chrome settings reset step 1

After scrolling to the bottom of the screen, click the Reset (Restore settings to their original defaults) button.

Google Chrome settings reset step 2

In the opened window, confirm that you wish to reset Google Chrome settings to default by clicking the Reset button.

Google Chrome settings reset step 3

Mozilla Firefox logoRemove malicious plugins from Mozilla Firefox:

Removing rogue extensions from Mozilla Firefox step 1

Click the Firefox menu firefox menu icon (at the top right corner of the main window), select "Add-ons". Click on "Extensions", in the opened window remove all recently-installed suspicious browser plug-ins.

Removing rogue extensions from Mozilla Firefox step 2

Optional method:

Computer users who have problems with ip address & personal information might be exposed pop-up removal can reset their Mozilla Firefox settings.

Open Mozilla Firefox, at the top right corner of the main window, click the Firefox menu, firefox menu icon in the opened menu, click Help.

Accessing settings (Reset Firefox to default settings step 1)

Select Troubleshooting Information.

Accessing Troubleshooting Information (Reset Firefox to default settings step 2)

In the opened window, click the Refresh Firefox button.

Clicking on Refresh Firefox button (Reset Firefox to default settings step 3)

In the opened window, confirm that you wish to reset Mozilla Firefox settings to default by clicking the Refresh Firefox button.

Confirm your want to reset Firefox settings to default (Reset Firefox to default settings step 4)

safari browser logoRemove malicious extensions from Safari:

removing adware from safari step 1 - accessing preferences

Make sure your Safari browser is active, click Safari menu, and select Preferences....

removing adware from safari step 2 - removing extensions

In the opened window click Extensions, locate any recently installed suspicious extension, select it and click Uninstall.

Optional method:

Make sure your Safari browser is active and click on Safari menu. From the drop down menu select Clear History and Website Data...

resetting safari step 1

In the opened window select all history and click the Clear History button.

resetting safari step 2

Microsoft Edge (Chromium) logoRemove malicious extensions from Microsoft Edge:

Removing adware from Microsoft Edge step 1

Click the Edge menu icon Microsoft Edge (chromium) menu icon (at the upper-right corner of Microsoft Edge), select "Extensions". Locate all recently-installed suspicious browser add-ons and click "Remove" below their names.

Removing adware from Microsoft Edge step 2

Optional method:

If you continue to have problems with removal of the ip address & personal information might be exposed pop-up, reset your Microsoft Edge browser settings. Click the Edge menu icon Microsoft Edge (chromium) menu icon (at the top right corner of Microsoft Edge) and select Settings.

Microsoft Edge (Chromium) reset step 1

In the opened settings menu select Reset settings.

Microsoft Edge (Chromium) reset step 2

Select Restore settings to their default values. In the opened window, confirm that you wish to reset Microsoft Edge settings to default by clicking the Reset button.

Microsoft Edge (Chromium) reset step 3

  • If this did not help, follow these alternative instructions explaining how to reset the Microsoft Edge browser.

Summary:

declining installation of adware while downloading free software sampleCommonly, adware or potentially unwanted applications infiltrate Internet browsers through free software downloads. Note that the safest source for downloading free software is via developers' websites only. To avoid installation of adware, be very attentive when downloading and installing free software. When installing previously-downloaded free programs, choose the custom or advanced installation options – this step will reveal any potentially unwanted applications listed for installation together with your chosen free program.

Removal assistance:
If you are experiencing problems while trying to remove ip address & personal information might be exposed pop-up from your computer, please ask for assistance in our malware support forum.

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About the author:

Tomas Meskauskas

Tomas Meskauskas - expert security researcher, professional malware analyst.

I am passionate about computer security and technology. I have an experience of over 10 years working in various companies related to computer technical issue solving and Internet security. I have been working as an author and editor for pcrisk.com since 2010. Follow me on Twitter and LinkedIn to stay informed about the latest online security threats. Contact Tomas Meskauskas.

PCrisk security portal is brought by a company RCS LT. Joined forces of security researchers help educate computer users about the latest online security threats. More information about the company RCS LT.

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Malware activity

Global malware activity level today:

Medium threat activity

Increased attack rate of infections detected within the last 24 hours.

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